Photo © 2010 by Caroline Forbes
Tony Lopez is an English poet of international repute. His first book to be published in the USA was the widely acclaimed and much anthologised False Memory (The Figures, 1996). He was born in Stockwell in 1950 and grew up in Brixton, South London, where he was educated at local state schools, including Henry Thornton Grammar School. He began work as a freelance writer of fiction for newspapers and magazines, and had five novels published with New English Library between 1973 and 1976.
He attended the University of Essex (BA 1980) and then Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge (PhD 1986), where J.H. Prynne supervised his research on the Scottish poet W.S. Graham. He taught American literature for various colleges at Cambridge.
During the early 1980s he made a number of performance art events that were staged in Cambridge, Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Amsterdam. He taught briefly at the University of Leicester (1986-87) and at the University of Edinburgh (1987-89) and then for twenty years at the University of Plymouth, where he was appointed the first Professor of Poetry in 2000 and Emeritus Professor in July 2009. He is now self-employed, writing and making public art based on text.
His most recent poetry books are Only More So (University of New Orleans Press 2011, Shearsman 2012), a new edition of False Memory (Shearsman 2012), and Darwin (Acts of Language 2009). He has received awards from the Wingate Foundation, the Society of Authors, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Arts Council England. His poetry is featured in The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press), Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry (Oxford University Press), Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems (Salt), The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street), Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 (Wesleyan University Press) and Conductors of Chaos (Picador).
His critical writings are collected in Meaning Performance: Essays on Poetry (Salt) and The Poetry of W.S. Graham (Edinburgh University Press), and he co-edited Poetry & Public Language (Shearsman 2007) a volume of essays, with Anthony Caleshu. He is married with two grown up children and lives in Exmouth in Devon.